Oatley Park is a really lovely reserve and makes a wonderful family day out all year round. The new Nature-based Inclusive Adventure Playground makes it an even more attractive place to visit for families.
Oatley Park is one Sydney’s finest areas of natural bush land. Bounded by the Georges River, Lime Kiln Bay, and Jew Fish Bay, it covers 45 hectares.
The park is a popular place for picnics, recreational and sporting activities, including an oval. It has a fabulous playground, a “castle” and netted swimming baths.
Also, Oatley Park offers a 2km cycling loop, several walking tracks and a wheel-chair accessible section from Myra Wall car park.
The only drawback is that there isn’t any café in the park. The closest cafes are on Mulga Road (a 5 minute drive from the park).
Originally called Peakhurst Park, it was established in 1888. The name was changed to Oatley Park in 1922. In 1908, Hurstville Council became the trustees, and now the park is managed by Georges River Council.
Contents of this post
Oatley Park Maps
Here’s a map to show you where Oatley Park is, in the south of Sydney.
Oatley Park address: 1 Dame Mary Gilmore Road, Oatley NSW 2223
By Mireia Garriga Seguranyes
Oatley Park is great for a family day out. It is so big that you might not have enough time to see everything in one day. The best way to plan your visit is to have a look at the map that you can find at the beginning of the park, close to the main entrance (on Dame Mary Gilmore Road). Alternatively, have a look at this one.
Literally, kids cannot get bored with so much to explore!
Jewfish Bay Baths (aka Oatley Park Baths)
Oatley Baths were constructed in 1909. The shark net is 320 metres long, and there is a 50 metres section for the Oatley Swimming Club. The sandy bay of Oatley Park –adjacent to the baths- is a perfect spot for little children; it is like a beach with calm waters. There is a spacious changing shed with toilets and showers.
In winter, the tranquillity of this place is almost magical. My daughters who normally are incapable of staying still are mesmerised by the beauty of Jewfish Bay and views of Como Bridge. They sit on the pier and just look at the scenery.
Tips: Check tides before you go and avoid swimming after rain.
“The Castle” and Lookout
Sort of hidden in the bush, you will find “The Castle”. This stone building was built during the Great Depression (1929 – 1932) and it was used as a kiosk in the past. The top of the castle is a lookout with beautiful views across Jewfish Bay and down the Georges River to Como Railway Bridge.
Nowadays, Oatley Park Castle is available to hire for private functions. My daughters loved to imagine that they were in a real castle.
Note: Very close to the castle, there are more picnic tables and a toilet block. And, Oatley Park Baths are just around the corner.
Walk tracks, cycle ways and lookouts
In total, there are 4 km of walking tracks. We chose the Ridge Track that goes from the playground to the Websters Lookout. It is quite easy, but my three daughters were tired after playing several hours in the playground. But the effort was worth it! The views over Jew Fish Bay were spectacular.
Also, just before reaching the playground, there is a new wheelchair accessible pathway that runs from Myra Wall Garden car park. The 185 metres path goes all the way through the bushland until it reaches a viewing point that offers glimpses of the Georges River.
For more information of the walking tracks, click here: http://off.oatleypark.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1OATLEY-FF-WALKING-TRACKS-A4-FLYER1.pdf
The cycling loop (Mallard Drive) runs for approximately 2km. We saw lots of families with their bikes the day that we visited the park. Mallard Drive goes through the bush, it feels like you are in the wild, but you are still in Sydney.
Note: Be aware that it is one-way and shared with cars and walkers. We found that some cyclists were riding quite fast, so make sure that your kids understand the rules before walking, especially if they are little.
Oatley Park Nature-based Inclusive Adventure Playground
The wonderful new adventure playground at Oatley Park was opened in September 2019. There’s a toddler play zone, a flying fox, a huge active play zone and a teenagers breakout area. The park also has new BBQ and picnic areas.
Constructed using manly natural materials, the playground was a joint project of Georges River Council and the NSW Government Open Space and Parklands Program. The playground was designed using the Everyone Can Play guidelines and over 80% of the playground is fully accessible for all abilities.
Otaley park is such a large and beautiful natural area, it’s appropriate that the playground is nature-based and able to be used by all ages and abilities. And that includes you parents!
In addition to the playground, the historic steamroller that gives the name to the playground was a real hit for my daughters. They loved to climb over it and had fun pretending to drive. The steamroller is ideal for pre-schoolers, as it is fully fenced.
Note: The closest toilets are situated between the oval and the playground. Therefore, remember that you will need to walk a little bit.
Oatley Park: Practical Details
Oatley Park Parking: There are multiple access points in the park and driving through is allowed. We didn’t know this, so we parked the car on Oatley Park Avenue (as the first car park close to the oval was full) and we walked following Mallard Drive. However, you can park in front of the playground, which is very convenient, especially if you are planning to have a picnic.
The main entrance is on Dame Mary Gilmore Road. The other access points are on Douglas Haig Street and Pamela Avenue.
Nearest takeaway coffee: Bitton Oatley is fairly close, read our review here. Although it is not located at a walking distance from Oatley Park, it is a good place to stop on the way or after visiting the park. The café is very family friendly, it has a backyard area for the kids to play, highchairs and kids’ menu.
Dogs: on leash
Nearest station: Oatley Station
Bus stop nearby: 955 route with stops at Lloyd Street and Short Street at Douglas Haig Street. It connects Mortdale, Oatley and Hurstville train stations.
Note: Always remember to check the details with Transport NSW before using public transport, in case the mentioned bus route has changed.
Mum’s report: If you are looking for a nature reserve to spend the day out with your family, you should write Oatley Park on your list. The park is not only a good place for a picnic, but also to have a swim or go for a ride. Besides the fabulous playground, you can enjoy the many walking tracks. Oatley Park is popular with visitors all year round. What has made this place so unique, nevertheless, is the beautiful surrounds.
Extra for the aficionados of history
Oatley Park is very rich in local history. If you enter the park via the main entrance (Dame Mary Gilmore Road), you can see the “Lone Pine” that was planted in 1920, by Owen John Davies, a WWI veteran who grew the tree from a seed he collected from the original Lone Pine in Gallipoli.
During the Great Depression (1929-1932), significant changes were made to the park. The internal roads and paths, the kiosk and castellated lookout that still exist nowadays were built thanks to the Unemployment Relief Scheme. And, at the end of the WWII, it even located an army camp.
My daughters and I had a lovely day out. We have to go back in summer, have a swim and take our bikes to go for a ride later.
Have ever visited Oatley Park and Baths?
You might also like to visit Como Pleasure Grounds with its Baths, Pools and Playground, read more here.